Online Application

JPPSS Dual Language Program

Dual language is a more effective way of teaching students two languages based on the fundamental premise that children learn a second language the same way they learn their first language. They learn in context where they are exposed to language in its natural form and when they are socially motivated to communicate. The target language is used as the medium of instruction rather than the content of instruction. This means that students acquire content-area knowledge and language skills together.

1. How will dual language benefit my child?

Spanish Dual Language progams in Jefferson Parish Schools are based on the three dual language pilars designed to promote bilingualism and biliteracy, academic student achievement, and social cultural competence.

There is a considerable body of research that outlines the benefits of dual language/immersion programs for students, including:

  • higher academic performance,
  • greater cognitive development in mental flexibility, creativity, and divergent thinking,
  • high levels of proficiency in the target language and in English,
  • positive cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors, and
  • enhanced career opportunities.

Dual Language Education for a Transformed World by Thomas & Cullier, 2012 2.

2. What is a two-way dual language program?

The two-way model balances the number of ELLs and non-ELLs in a classroom giving both groups the opportunity to learn each other’s language in a natural way. Research tells us that the most effective way to teach English Language Learners is in a two-way dual language program. (Thomas & Cullier, 2010).

3. What language will my child be instructed in?

Beginning in Pre-K and K the students will receive instruction in Spanish 90% of the day and 10% in English. As they move up to 1 st grade and beyond, the English will increase 10% each year until a balance of 50%/50% between the Spanish and English language is reached in 4 th grade.

4. Will my child fall behind in learning English?

Students in a Two-Way immersion (TWI) dual language program may seem to fall behind in the first years as they acquire proficiency in the two languages, but research has demonstrated that by third grade the students are doing as well or better than their monolingual peers.

5. Will my child be confused learning in two languages?

Children’s brains are wired to be able to understand multiple languages. Children are very sensitive and flexible to the way different people speak and therefore can learn a second language much easier than adults.

6. Can I change my mind once my child begins in dual language?

In order for children to receive the full benefits of participating in a dual language program, parents must make a commitment to allow their children time to acquire the target language over time. Social and academic language acquisition is a process that takes up to five or seven years.

7. Do I have to know Spanish or English to be able to help my child with homework?

Knowledge of Spanish or English by the parent is not a prerequisite for a child’s success in the program. Homework is given as a reinforcement of what has been done in class, therefore the child should be able to complete it independently

8. Will my child learn the same things that students learn in a monolingual class?

The LDOE and Jefferson Parish School district expectations and requirements are the same for all JP students. The curriculum used in dual language classrooms align to the LDOE and district requirements and expectations.

9. What subjects are taught in Spanish? English?

Students receive Spanish language arts, math, science, and social studies in Spanish. In addition, they receive English language development or language arts, and PE in English. As the students enter higher grades more English subjects are provided creating a balance between the two languages and subjects. When students enter 4 th grade and up, two subjects will be taught in English and two subjects will be taught in Spanish in addition to receiving language arts in both languages.

10. What language will my child learn to read first?

Students will learn to read in Spanish first and slowly transition into English literacy beginning in 1 st grade. Spanish literacy is easier to acquire, leading students to transition into English literacy faster.

11. How do I apply for dual language?

  1. Determine if your attendance school zone offers dual language
  2. Attend a parent informational meeting and fill out an intent form
  3. Register at your attendance zone school and ask to place your child in dual language
  4. If your child is entering PK, follow the same application procedures required for PK registration and choose the option for dual language on the application.

For more information on JPPSS Dual Language Program, please go to:

http://jpschools.org/department/teaching-and-learning/dual-language/

Program Partners:

A.C. Alexander Elementary School

Alice Birney Elementary School

John Clancy/Joseph Maggiore Elementary School

Green Park Elementary School

Phoebe Hearst School

Marie B. Riviere Elementary School

Terrytown Elementary School